Author: Sunhawk
Warnings : Yaoi-ishness, fluff, OOC, Duo POV, 2003 Christmas ficlet… maybe I’ve started a tradition?
Feed-back… I remember feed-back, a long time ago when I posted more often. >.<
I’m still arguing this ownership thing with Bandai, but they’re standing pretty firm.

Christmas Pizza

What makes a Christmas tradition? I’m not sure I know. I just know that there is something about them that is attractive. Something about them that leaves me feeling like I’ve missed out. Something about them that makes me want to try and capture the feelings I see in other people at this time of year.

Which is probably stupid, since I’m not exactly like other people.

Which is probably stupid, since I’m not even sure just what it is I’m trying to capture.

But somehow, no matter how much I tell myself each year that I’m just going to leave well enough alone, I always end up reaching for the unattainable. Always end up trying to recreate something I never had.

Maybe trying to capture a dream I had a long time ago, born of fairy tales and old books.

This year is no different and my mad desire has led us to trudge a quarter mile through a damn Christmas tree field, snow over my ankles and cold metal saw in my hand. There was a voice in my head telling me I hadn’t dressed warm enough, telling me what a stupid tradition this was, telling me my partner was probably angry with me, telling me it was damn cold out. Telling me the ‘perfect tree’ didn’t exist any more than that guy in the red suit.

But maybe that elusive dream of a memory that never was, lived in a pine forest? Who could say?

‘How about this one?’ Heero said, voice as calm and patient as ever.

‘It is nice,’ I opined, eying the tree critically. ‘You don’t think it’s too tall?’

‘It’s under six foot,’ he informed me, cocking his head and looking the tree up and down. ‘It will fit just fine.’

‘Ok,’ I sighed, and stepped to the side to find the best angle to reach the trunk to cut it down. And promptly stepped into a snow-filled hole up to my knee. There was a sound that was suspiciously like a snicker from my left.

‘What was that, Yuy?’ I growled, as I hauled myself back up on level ground, my pants wet half-way up my leg.

‘Nothing,’ he said amiably, but not able to completely wipe the amusement from his face.

‘You’re mocking me,’ I grumbled. ‘I’m freezing to death, and you’re mocking me.’

‘This was your idea, if you will recall,’ he informed me and didn’t even bother to hide the grin.

I debated tossing some snow at him, but I didn’t have gloves on and my hands were already painfully cold. I shifted the other way without further comment, avoiding the hole in the ground, and coming at the tree from a different angle.

‘These places are death traps,’ I muttered, pushing ineffectively at branches and looking at the tree. There was the remains of a dead vine wound up through it that would have to come out. ‘Ruts and holes everywhere. Stumps sticking up and hidden in the grass and snow… death traps, I tell you.’

Heero chuckled and reached to take the saw from my blotchy red hand. ‘Here,’ he said, his voice oddly affectionate. ‘Let me cut it down. I told you to bring your gloves.’

‘You’ll have to kneel in the snow,’ I objected. ‘And I’m already all wet.’

‘And you don’t need to get any wetter,’ he said, still smiling that weird-ass, border-line annoying smile. I reluctantly let go of the saw and stepped back out of the way.

Heero, of course, found the perfect angle immediately, and knelt down, one hand holding the branches back. I jammed my hands into my pockets, feeling… odd.

He hesitated and looked up at me. ‘Are you sure this tree is all right?’

‘Yeah,’ I murmured. ‘I guess.’

‘We can keep looking,’ he offered, though I knew he had to be damn near as cold as I was.

‘Nah,’ I shook my head. ‘This is ok.’

He just kept looking at me, and I couldn’t meet his eyes. After another second or two of him not cutting, he stood and stepped toward me. ‘What’s wrong?’

I sighed and looked down at my boots, wondering if my feet were still in them, because I sure couldn’t feel them. ‘Nothing.’

Duo,’ he said, in that warning tone that clearly states he ain’t buying what I’m selling.

I heaved a sigh. ‘You’ll laugh at me.’

‘I won’t,’ he soothed and stepped in close enough to bring his hand up to touch my elbow. Not that I could feel it, my arms were getting numb too.

‘Will too,’ I grumbled and he snorted at me, just staring until I finally broke. He always wins those damn who’ll talk first things. ‘I don’t want to kill it, ok!’ I blurted, and felt my face flame as best it could since it was probably already red with the cold.

Did I mention it was cold? Well, it was.

I’ll give him credit; he tried. He started to grin, and I could see him school it, but then he lost it and grinned fit to split his face. It didn’t take long before I got one of those full-throated laughs that are a pleasure to hear… when they’re directed at somebody else.

‘I told you you’d laugh,’ I groused, and looked at my frozen blocks of feet again.

He stifled it and hooked his arm around my neck to pull me in against him for a second. ‘I’m not laughing at you,’ he assured me.

‘Coulda fooled me,’ I told him icily and he drew back to look me in the eye. I fought him for a minute, just for perversions sake, before giving in and meeting his gaze. I was surprised as hell to find his eyes shining with tears and him fighting to keep them from spilling over and giving him frostbite. Though he was still grinning his ass off.

‘Heero?’ I asked, confused as all hell. ‘What…?’

‘God, I love you,’ he blurted, and dropped the saw into the snow to pull me into his arms right in the middle of ‘Duke and Earl’s Christmas Tree Paradise’ in front of God, Earl, and the plastic Rudolph at the edge of the field.

I hugged him back and took a moment to try sorting the situation out. ‘So,’ I ventured, ‘you love me because I drug you out in this weather, to the middle of nowhere, for nothing?’

He drew back and smiled at me warmly. ‘I love you because you’re you. I love you because you can get all soft-hearted over a tree. I love you because you share these traditions of yours with me.’

I blinked at him, at something of a loss. ‘Traditions?’ I squeaked, and had to work to get my voice down. ‘Heero… I don’t have any traditions! I never had a family… I don’t know anything about it; I’m just trying to figure it out!’

He got that look on his face again, the tender, affectionate one, and made me feel really strange. ‘I thought that was our tradition… trying something new each year.’

‘But,’ I couldn’t help objecting. ‘They’ve all been disasters!’

‘No they haven’t,’ he smiled and reached up to brush a flake of snow off my cheek. He tilted his head back to look up and I realized that it had begun to snow. I looked up with him, watching the fat flakes fall out of the sky.

‘Are you crazy?’ I asked mildly. ‘Don’t you remember the Christmas dinner we tried to cook? The turkey was raw and everything else burned.’

‘I remember a day spent with you in a warm kitchen surrounded by wonderful smells and eating pizza by the fireplace,’ he replied, closing his eyes as the snow fell on his upturned face.

‘The gingerbread house?’ I inquired drolly.

‘Tasted good,’ he said simply.

‘And today?’ I asked, finally starting to feel some of his body heat through our combined layers of clothing.

‘A beautiful walk in the woods getting to watch you flounder in the snow.’

‘Asshole,’ I grumbled.

‘Yep,’ he agreed, finally tiling his head back down and looking at me. ‘But you look damn appealing all flushed from the cold.’

He finally won the laugh and I shook my head.

‘So,’ he smiled. ‘Are we going to spare the tree?’

‘Let’s let it live,’ I told him. ‘Can we go home now?’

‘Whenever you’re ready,’ he told me. ‘This was all your idea… if you will recall.’

I snorted. ‘But you never stop me.’

‘And I never will,’ he whispered next to my ear before giving me a last squeeze and letting go. He picked the saw up and we started back the way we’d come.

‘So our tradition is to do stupid shit each year?’ I asked, after we’d walked a bit side-by-side.

He didn’t even look across at me. ‘No, our tradition is for you to show me something new and wondrous each year.’

I couldn’t stop the surprised bark of laughter. ‘That’s a hell of a tradition to live up to, Yuy!’

‘I have faith,’ he smiled and reached out to take my hand. ‘You’ve never steered me wrong before.’

‘You’re telling me a tradition is nothing more than something you do more than once?’ I grinned across at him and he quirked that little half smile he has.

‘No,’ he corrected. ‘A tradition is something you do with someone you love.’

We walked for a moment through the mostly empty field, the sound of snow crunching under our boots seeming almost overly loud. The snowflakes drifting down were fat and wet, already filling our tracks and making everything clean and white again. Heero let go of my hand and put his arm around my shoulders, a gentle smile on his face. It seemed the most natural thing.

‘Hey, Heero?’

‘Yeah?’ he prompted.

‘I love you too,’ I told him and he smiled, his arm squeezing tight for a moment.

‘Want to stop for pizza?’ he asked genially, the saw swinging at his side.

‘If we do it twice, it’s a tradition,’ I warned, and he grinned.

‘I could think of worse,’ he informed me and I shuddered, thinking about it.

‘Let’s just not do this again, ok?’ I asked, barely avoiding a stump that was a little outside its row.

‘What?’ he teased lightly. ‘You didn’t enjoy going out and sparing a Christmas tree?’

‘Let’s just say I’ve had better ideas,’ I sighed and tried working the hand that was around his waist into his coat pocket. It was really freakin’ cold out.

Heero snorted, but refrained from comment.

Earl didn’t have much to say either, when we turned in our saw unused, only shaking his head and wishing us a Merry Christmas anyway.

I thought about the pizza we would take home and a warm fire in the fireplace. All in all, not a bad way to spend Christmas Eve… even if it wasn’t very traditional.

end

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